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Old September 8th, 2012, 10:28 PM
Lance's Avatar
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Could CO2 emissions be making us fat?

The startling theory has been put forward by a Danish researchers, who say that the increase in obese people in Denmark is roughly equivalent to the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Researcher Lars-Georg Hersoug studied the weight of both fat and thin people over 22 years, and first strated looking for explanations after noticing even the thin people were putting on the pounds.

CO2 in the atmosphere is being blamed for global warming issues - but could it be behind the population's march towards obesity?
Hersoug, now a post-doc at the Research Centre for Prevention and Health at Glostrup University Hospital, told Science Nordic: 'The normal theory is that fat people get fatter because they don’t move as much as they should.

'But the study showed that thin people also get fatter, and this happened over the whole of the 22-year period of the study.'
When he looked around for other factors, he saw how the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere had also increased in correlation to the weight gain.

He now proposed that orexins, a type of hormone which reside in the brain and stimulate wakefulness and energy expenditure, may be affected by CO2.
The hormones regulate when we go to bed, as well as the stimulation of food intake.

Hersoug also suggests as evidence that obesity increases in the U.S. happened fastest in the period 1986-2010 on the East Coast, which is where CO2 concentrations are highest.

He also cites a 2010 study of 20,000 laboratory animals who all gained weight, despite being in controlled conditions.

Testing his hypothesis, a pilot study at university placed six men in special climate rooms, where some of them were exposed to increased amounts of CO2

Seven hours later, the men were allowed to eat as much as they liked, and the men with more exposure to CO2 ate six per cent more food than the control group.

Really odd and yet oddly plausible, judging from the United States.


Last edited by Lance; September 8th, 2012 at 10:56 PM.
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Old September 9th, 2012, 10:28 AM
Esper's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: California
My first thought was "correlation =/= causation" but I'll keep an open mind since it seems this isn't just a small study over a short period. Personally, I think lack of exercise and bad food choices amount for the greater part of obesity. If anything I would say that obesity and carbon dioxide are both a product of our mass-market, mass-production society. But who knows. Maybe all that CO2 is making it harder to breathe and therefore harder to exercise.

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